MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Gardo (Maria) slightly weakened on Monday afternoon, July 9, though it is still expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.
In a briefing past 5 pm on Monday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Gardo now has maximum winds of 185 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 200 km/h and gustiness of up to 225 km/h from the previous 245 km/h.
The typhoon is already 1,015 kilometers east northeast of Basco, Batanes, still moving west northwest over the Philippine Sea at 30 km/h.
Gardo is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines, so tropical cyclone warning signals will not be raised in any area.
But PAGASA warned that the typhoon will enhance the southwest monsoon, which is affecting Luzon and the Visayas.
Light to heavy rain from the southwest monsoon is expected in the regions of Metro Manila, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Bicol, and Western Visayas, as well as the provinces of Bataan and Zambales.
The rain in Mimaropa and Western Visayas is expected to last until Wednesday, July 11, while in the other areas, occasional rains are expected until Tuesday, July 10.
Residents of regions and provinces to be affected by the southwest monsoon, especially those in low-lying and in mountainous areas, should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
The rest of the country, not affected by the southwest monsoon, will have isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms. Flash floods and landslides are possible, too.
PAGASA also warned that sea travel is risky in the northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon.
Based on its latest forecast track, Gardo will leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday morning, exiting just off Taiwan. Taiwan is still within PAR, an area set by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for PAGASA to monitor, as weather disturbances here directly or indirectly affect the Philippines. (READ: PAGASA: Typhoon Gardo different from Yolanda)
Gardo is the Philippines’ 7th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
PAGASA had declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com